SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have had defensive problems this season and know what it's like to make three errors in the game. So when the Cardinals were guilty of committing three miscues on Thursday, San Francisco took advantage of the extra opportunities.
Brandon Crawford drove in a pair of runs, and although Matt Cain gave up more runs than usual, it was just enough run support to get the win as the Giants beat the Cardinals 7-5 to split this brief two-game series.
"It felt good, we'd been struggling doing that; I have too," said Crawford as the Giants were batting .167 with runners in scoring position in their last three games before Thursday's win. "As a team we got a lot of guys in scoring position today, and it was nice to do and hopefully we can carry it over into the (A's) series.
Cain (3-2) pitched six innings, allowing eight hits and four runs, winning his first game at home since he tossed a one-hitter against the Pirates on April 13.
"I started out a little rough and was all over the place a little bit," Cain said. "I wasn't making good quality pitches, and they were taking advantage of it. The guys hung in there with me, got some runs that we needed and we were able to pull out a win."
Cardinal starter Adam Wainwright was let down by his defense, as the Redbirds committed errors in the first, second, and sixth innings. Each time, runs were scored affecting his outcome.
"I had ample opportunities to make pitches, get out of the first two innings, two outs with guys on third and didn't get out of it unscathed either time," Wainwright said. "So that's something I've really prided myself on in my career and usually I'm pretty tough in that situation."
Wainwright (2-5) went 5 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and five runs but only two were earned. He walked four and struck out one.
"My stuff was not bad actually," Wainwright said. "The breaking ball was spinning right, cutter was pretty good most of the day, good changeups today and my fastball command was almost good...almost good is not good enough."
The Giants gave themselves a three-run cushion in the seventh. With two runners on base, Brandon Belt hit an RBI double. Charlie Culberson later hit a weak ground ball allowing a second run to score as the Cardinals failed to turn a double play to end the inning.
"That's my main priority," Belt said. "That's how I help contribute to the team by driving in runs. The more often I can do that, the better, and I think that's attributed to more people getting on base, getting in scoring in scoring position and getting them home."
St. Louis trailed by two in the top of the eighth after a home run to center field by Yadier Molina.
Cain gave up two runs in the opening frame. Skip Schumaker and Matt Carpenter both singled. With runners at first and third, Matt Holliday brought in Schumaker with a sacrifice fly. Lance Berkman doubled to left and David Freese scored Carpenter with another sac-fly.
The Giants answered in the bottom of the first. Crawford doubled, advanced to third on a fielding error by right fielder Carpenter.
Buster Posey cut the lead in half with a bloop single to right.
In the second, an error allowed the Giants' Emmanuel Burriss to reach first. and Gregor Blanco followed with a walk. After a wild pitch advanced both runners into scoring position Crawford's two-run single briefly gave the Giants a 3-2 lead.
Holliday hit a two-run homer in the third to put the Redbirds up by a run.
The Giants would tie the game in the sixth. After a single by Angel Pagan and a double to left by Belt, Burriss delivered with a sac-fly to left.
With two outs, the Giants elected to pinch hit for Cain, and the Cardinals lifted Wainwright for reliever Victor Marte. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Aubrey Huff hit a weak grounder toward third, but Freese could not make a clean throw, and the ball sailed into the Cardinals' dugout. That allowed Huff to advance to second and Belt to score on the play to give the Giants a 5-4 edge.
"That's not the kind of defense we've been accustomed to seeing this year and not the kind of defense we're going to see the rest of the way, but it's just one of those games," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Notes: With the unbalanced schedule, the Cardinals played only two games in San Francisco this season. ... Wainwright has only one win vs. the Giants in seven career appearances (five starts). Wainwright is 1-4 vs. SF with a 3.35 ERA ... Reliever Kyle McClellan left the game with right elbow discomfort and is flying back to St. Louis for further evaluation. ... Entering Thursday's matinee, the Cardinals were ranked second defensively in the National League with 19 errors. ... Thursday's seven runs were a season high at home for the Giants. San Francisco has the worst defense in the NL with 41 miscues. ... This was only the second career win for Cain against the Cardinals. He also beat them back on May 29, 2009 at AT&T Park. ... The Giants extended their sellout streak to 103 games, third most in MLB behind the Boston Red Sox (732) and Philadelphia Phillies (222)
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